Red Sky in Morning (Anglais) Broché – 6 mars 2014
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Revue de presse
"Sumptuous and poetic....Lynch's sense of the period, and the huge disruptions in society which affected every single character, is clever and well informed, but he has taken a real and fascinating risk with the style." ---Colm Toíbín, The Guardian
"A novel of great beauty and violence from Irish writer Lynch....Lynch's poetic prose is gorgeous. He lovingly crafts every sentence."
"Rendered in startlingly beautiful prose, not unlike the themes and style of Cormac McCarthy....This is strong stuff by a promising young author."
---Mark Levine, Booklist
"If Dublin-based Lynch's taut, absorbing, acerbically lyrical prose weren't enough, there's the intense and revelatory plot....Get it for all smart readers."
---Barbara Hoffert, Library Journal
"Paul Lynch has a sensational gift for a sentence, inherited from the likes of Cormac McCarthy, Sebastian Barry, and Daniel Woodrell. He is a writer to watch out for, staking a bid for a territory all his own."
---Colum McCann, author of Let the Great World Spin
"This book makes the literary synapses spark and burn -- forged in his own new and wonderful language, Paul Lynch reaches to the root, branch and bole of things, and unfurls a signal masterpiece."
---Sebastian Barry, author of The Secret Scripture
"Paul Lynch takes a giant first step with his debut, Red Sky in Morning. It is classic storytelling, rough and haunted people and the times that made them, powerfully conjured, written in language that demands attention. Lynch is bardic, given to sly and inspired word selections, with his own sprung rhythms and angled, stark musicality."
---Daniel Woodrell, author of Winter's Bone and The Outlaw Album
"Paul Lynch's writing is full of dark invention and brutal beauty. A raw and audacious talent which grips Irish writing by the neck."
---Hugo Hamilton, author of The Speckled People
"A textured thriller straight from the torment of Ireland's 19th century. Paul Lynch delivers a raw ancient world that Dickens would have recognized, and Roberto Bolaño too."
---Peter Behrens, author of The Law of Dreams and The O'Briens
"A cracking debut novel. Paul Lynch's startling, evocative prose veers closer to poetry.... This novel is a wonderful achievement."
---Kristoffer Mullin, The Sunday Times
"A compulsive read.... A combination of the poetic and the vicious. It unabashedly uses a 21st-century sensibility to subvert the conventions of the 'historical' novel."
---Arminta Wallace, Irish Times
"Muscular and opulent... the novel is ripe with spookily vivid writing. A very stylishly written book that takes the Irish novel into quite a different genre."
---The Examiner --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Broché .
Présentation de l'éditeur
Spring 1832: Donegal, north west Ireland.
Coll Coyle wakes to a blood dawn and a day he does not want to face. The young father stands to lose everything on account of the cruel intentions of his landowner's heedless son.
Although reluctant, Coll sets out to confront his trouble. And so begins his fall from the rainsoaked, cloud-swirling Eden, and a pursuit across the wild bog lands of Donegal.
Behind him is John Faller - a man who has vowed to hunt Coll to the ends of the earth - in a pursuit that will stretch to an epic voyage across the Atlantic, and to greater tragedy in the new American frontier.
Red Sky in Morning is a dark tale of oppression bathed in sparkling, unconstrained imagery. A compassionate and sensitive exploration of the merciless side of man and the indifference of nature, it is both a mesmerizing feat of imagination and a landmark piece of fiction.
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I could simply say, that this book, was one of the best I have read. This would be true but - just because I say so - hardly likely to have readers falling over themselves to invest.
I could tell you that this tale, contains murder and death, sex, incest and prostitution, love, betrayal and incredible friendship, morality and immorality. This too, would be true but without context, just a list of titillating temptations, that give no indication or measurement of depth.
I could mention a manhunt, undertaken by a vicious sociopath/psychopath - who makes The Terminator, look like Mr Plod, the laughing policeman. This, though also true, could give little insight into the mind of this personification of empathic-less evil.
You see, the writer, Paul Lynch, doesn't just 'write a story'. He takes a spark, applies kindling and within a relatively short 200 plus pages, creates a firestorm that rages across a vast canvas, the heat of which, leaves the reader gasping for air. The characters are terribly believable. At no time, does the reader doubt ANYONE or any PLACE is ANYTHING but real.
I loved the author's non-use of parenthesis in the dialogue. This in no way, inhibits the reader but in fact, makes the pages seem clean, uncluttered and the prose free-flowing. To those, who might worry, that I am indicating this may be written in the style of Sebald, calm yourself...there are commas, full stops and no page long sentences, or lack of paragraphs to negotiate. There is, in fact, not one, wasted or superfluous word - let alone sentence - in the whole book.
Upon finishing this novel (in one day, two sittings, with a break for a speedily dispatched lunch) I picked up the rather slim volume and wondered, how Mr. Lynch had managed to squeeze the story, that I had just read, into so small a space? I thought about the scope of the novel and it did not seem possible that it could be contained withing the covers of this book. And yet, it must be so. Doctor Who's 'Tardis' came to mind....
I don't 'do' reviews normally. Put it down to laziness if you like but there always seems to be ten or forty readers, that have beaten me to it and for the most part, already expressed my views, in their review and so I have excused my lack of effort as a pointless exercise, reiterating that, which has already been made blatantly obvious by others, who do it so much better..
When I came to qualify my opinions, regarding this amazing novel, I was stunned to find, that no one had arrived before me, to sing the praises of Red Sky In Morning. Feeling as I do, I could not bring myself to just walk away, without a word.
This is a wonderful example of concise, succinct storytelling. There is a poetry here too. The imagery is captivating, the tension is breathtaking, the ambiguity teasing, the prose almost frugal. And yet, when you get (somewhat regretfully) to the end of this novel, it leaves you with the feeling that have ripped your way, hungrily, through an absolute epic.
I bought the 'hardback' and read it. I then noticed the price of the Kindle version and bought it again. I have already read it twice - a rare feat for me - but I can promise you, I will return again and again. I would get lonely for the characters otherwise.
I urge you to read this novel. I would also love to see some other reviews, from other readers. Am I the only one, on whom this novel has left such an impression...I don't, can't believe that.
I notice, Sebastian Barry thinks this book 'A masterpiece'. He knows a bit about writing, doesn't he?
Keep writing Mr Paul Lynch, I await your next offering with baited breath. Oh and.......thank you.
There's no shame in trying to emulate McCarthy's style, but you have to avoid transparency in doing so and, unfortunately, Lynch fails and succeeds in equal measures to underwhelming effect. He uses advanced words that are jarring and do not necessarily fit with the rest of his style and, on occasion, he uses them incorrectly. To be clear, I'm not against using scholastic vocabulary nor do I dislike going to the dictionary to learn a new word (it's how I expand by own vocabulary), but only when there's a very clear understanding of the words used and it just seems Lynch used a thesaurus (not to accuse him of such, but its certainly the impression I got). Lynch's sentence structure, while lyrical and interesting, does not necessarily deserve merit in and of itself, but it did turn the pages quite easily.
Of the plot, I can tell you that Lynch drew inspiration from historical events (1800's Irish immigration and Duffy's Cut), but he uses the mystery of that latter event to shoe-horn in an ending that essentially pulls the rug out from underneath this "cat-and-mouse" thriller. I don't want to give too much away, but suffice to say that the chase ends via (essentially) deus ex machina so as to apply the historical event. Overall, the plot has its memorable moments, but Lynch relies too much on surprise instead of suspense, especially in the final act.
The characters, though, are Red Sky's biggest weakness. Protagonist Coll Coyle is largely uninteresting, which is fine if you put him opposite a great villain. But while Lynch clearly drew inspiration for Mr. Faller (the antagonist) from Judge Holden, he again tries too hard and instead creates an overly-simplified caricature of the hairless giant. Faller's philosophical musings are drab and they hardly tread unpaved territory. He also disappears for too long through Parts II and III to be memorable or even relevant. A man called The Cutter and Faller's youngest partner, Gillen, are the only secondary characters of note, but really, none of the characters are given specific nuances to make them stand out as anything other than simply fulfilling their role as protagonist, antagonist, etc. Lynch states in the back of the book he appreciates a "detached, behavioral style" and that's a noble pursuit, but it requires you describe a character's persona's minutiae through his actions and Lynch rarely does this.
That's not to say Red Sky in morning is terrible, though, because it is not. Lynch certainly has the capacity for clever wordplay. His strength is in his description of 1830's Ireland and Philadelphia and his ability to merge it with the unfolding action. When not strangling himself with unnecessary verbosity, Lynch's sing-song style lends itself quite well to painting a picture for the reader. Weirdly, his best character development actually happened to background characters who largely appeared as filler (the boy who strikes his mother or the incestuous father/daughter couple, for instance).
I give this book three stars knowing full well that this is Lynch's debut novel and I credit him for pursuing his vision. In general, though, this does not feel like Lynch writing in his personal voice. There was more to explore with the themes and source material, but his devotion to McCarthy seems to have diverted his attention. However, with this foundation beneath him, I hope Lynch can branch away and establish his own voice because he is clearly a writer with ability. I read through 275 pages fairly effortlessly and I respect his maiden effort enough that I've bought his next book ("The Black Snow").
Red Sky in Morning
by John Dwaine McKenna
There’s an old Irish joke Michael Curley told me a number of years ago that goes like this: How can you tell when an Irishman is losing his mind? He forgets who he has grudges against! It’s a joke that’s all the funnier because there’s an element of truth to it. The Irish are known far and wide as a fighting race and belligerence seems like part of their genetic makeup.
Red Sky in Morning, (Little, Brown and Company, $25.00, 275 pages, ISBN 978-0-316-23025-4) by Paul Lynch is a novel of crime and retribution, written in a prose style so unique and lyrical it could almost be called poetry. It’s a debut novel by a young Irish writer with the ability to illuminate some of humankind’s basest emotions in a way that makes the reader look long and hard into their own psyche, assessing their own personal values. It is a novel “straight out of Irelands nineteenth century torment,” and a graphic illustration of Irish oppression at the hands of their English landlords.
The tale begins in Donegal, Ireland in the year 1832. A young tenant farmer named Coll Coyle is being evicted, along with his pregnant wife and their three year old daughter, from the only home they’ve ever known, on the drunken whim of the land owner’s son. When Coyle tries to resolve the situation however, he comes away a felon with blood on his hands. Running for his life, he’s pursued by John Faller, the overseer of the Hamilton lands. Faller is an expert tracker, a huge strong man, bent on making the penniless Coyle pay in blood. The chase crosses Ireland and leads to America, where Coyle has found construction work, on the Pennsylvania Railroad, which was in the process of being built. Red Skin in Morning is a story of crime, escape and the lengths some would go to to seek retribution. It is a novel you will remember long after you’ve finished the reading of . . . so you will.
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"His fists tensed and something roiled in him like the white fever of river until his anger was foaming and he walked to the yard and pulled an axe grinning from the wood and started walking. He marched down the track from the house, shoulders huge and hunching. The earth dew-kissed and the coldness of it was numb to his feet and he wanted to hurl a mountain, to tear at the sky, to rip the earth open with his hands, and he turned sharp and strode to a spot where trees stood huddling. The axe swung in vicious arcs till a fir splintered and fell newly ragged upon the needled floor and he sat spent, his head wagging, and he had no power to hold back the tears."
"Mindscream and the night pitched on top of him, his hurtling body a clamber of limbs trying to beat off the mauling darkness. From out of the abyss skeletal fingers of trees made snatches for his face as he ran from the horrors of what he had seen, briars like witches' claws tearing at his flesh and he fought them with blind fury. His breath jagged at his chest for each breath was a shard of glass and onwards he tore, through scrub and sheugh and down a sharp decline till something took hold of his boot and held it firm and the ground reached up for him and his mouth bit hard upon the earth."
Now look at the imagery: A grinning axe; Skeletal fingers of trees; Short breath as a shard of glass. This book is a warrant to the idea of fiction being more real, more applicable to everyday life, than non-fiction. It demands your attention and pays off by teaching you a better way to see. For me, that's the purpose of literary fiction and here it's affirmed on every page.